Thursday, December 11, 2008

25 years of Togetherness

Some lines about Mom Dad's 25yrs journey together...

2+5 is seven,
seems like a road to heaven

But the path is full of thorns
to teach you many a norms

Step on them with love in your heart
and each one will blossom like a flower

Take turns to clear the road
because sacrifices will be core

Take pains to understand the other
and gains my dear will be forever

Reach the end of this path
the 7 colors of life will brighten your heart

And you will think again that 2+5 is 7
and yes it was a road to heaven!

More years to come

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Mumbai......meri jaan!

I came back from my fluids lecture at 3pm. Switched on my computer. I signed in to Gmail, Amruta was online we had a casual talk. I asked her whether she saw my Diwali pics and then she says “Arrey there were a couple of blasts & firing incidents near CST,Gateway of India, Colaba, Taj, Sahara Star, BMC office. “OMG, are you guys alright, baba aley na ghari?” She tried to soothe me “Sagley barey ahet!” I opened a new window, Times of India, just a sliding BREAKING NEWS bar which had very minimal info. I went back to Gmail, there Sneha had a ibn live NEWS link on her status message. It showed me what I wanted. A live account of what was happening in my city. 

Scared people, confused people, a lot of police. Out of the blues comes a Police Toyota Qualis and starts firing at the people on a junction. What the hell was that. People ducked down, some got injured while others helped them. I was glued to the laptop for 2hrs now, and all I could see was helpless people outside & I could'nt think of the people inside the hotels. I felt helpless, helpless because I was here, when my city needed me the most. 

What could I have done you ask me? Yes surely I couldn’t have had a chance at those chickens hiding in the hotels, but I could at least help my people, donate blood, help the injured…..there were more than 100 casualties. Who do you look up to when god says it’s my time out. Help each other not the terrorists to terrorize you! But no, I was just sitting here in my cozy chair, 10k Kms away……I cried…yes I did, just could'nt control it, it’s my city, streets I used to roam around without any fear & now I watch all those roads turn from black to red, red blood of my people…MY BLOOD! Yes, my family was fine but the city is also my family. I love my city as I love my family & I want to make sure no one plays around with someone I love. 

Sunday, November 9, 2008

In doubt!

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God does show you the way when you really need him to doesn’t he! I had applied for this job here at the Graduate Student Association for an Events Coordinator, the pay a whopping $16 as compared to $10 at my swim job. This was one of the reasons that I had applied there. I was also done with getting in the water to teach, surprised? I am not bored of teaching, no way, but each time I have to go to a swim lesson I am a bit reluctant because I am not swimming, I just have to float at one point, not to mention the fact that the swim lessons tire me a lot. That’s why while the other instructors do their paper work in the 15min break, I swim as much as I can.
But then after I applied for the GSA job I thought I have made such good friends at the pool. They have so much confidence in me, when it comes to taking swim lessons others are not able to, or helping out in general. How could I just leave them in the middle of the semester. What will tell them! Believe me I was in doubt, is it money I should go for or friends? And what do you know, I didn’t get the GSA job. Yeah, many people may probably say that I am saying all this right now because I didn’t get the job, believe me its not the case, I have experienced a lot of relational emotions in the last few months!
Today whatever happened made me feel even better that I did not get the GSA job. In this marathon 6hrs Sunday swim session, my second to last class is a Pre-school lesson, in which I have 3 really beautiful & cute girls, Aishwarya, Ambreen & Agnika. Ambreen was with me for 2 earlier sessions and wanted to be with me for this one too. 5mins before the swim lesson was about to start I ran into Ambreen’s father. We had a casual ‘Hi how are you’ and then he says “You better not fall sick, because I asked Ambreen what if Mr. Jay falls sick, then you’ll have to go with some other instructor. And she said I don’t want Mr. Jay to fall sick! Else I won’t go.” Being loved by small kids is the best thing that can happen to you.
Now I feel, although I am away from home and missing my Aai, baba & amruta’s love, I am being loved by so many people here & we cherish each and every moment of it, be it with my roomies, with all the Cedar Lane friends, you who’s reading this right now, the swim instructor friends at work or the kids I teach in the class. Could I ask for more! Now, I am not in doubt. :)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Falling Colors

Its fall now & nature has started changing colors. Pink, red, Maroon, yellow, green as if the trees are showing off their mood. I look out of the window and I see trees in red, trees in yellow & yes trees in green too! The sky isn’t dark today its bright & blue, making sure the trees can flaunt their colors easily. They look like a bouquet made of Red lilacs reaching for the sky & Yellow roses gazing at them. The greener trees as if helping the red & yellow look even more distinct. I am on the highest floor of the stone ‘CoRE’d tower & all this seems so small from up here that I feel like taking out the whole bunch of 'flowers' with my hand and giving it to you....if only you were here! ;)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

First Day of Diwali


Dhudum…….fataaak……..dhooom. “Wow” I woke up with a start. Its 5.00am already. “Quick I need to go to take a bath before amruta gets up, and where are my clothes?” I would look around to see if my new clothes are where I had kept them last night. How can I ever forget that day when I am so eager to get up early & dress up. Narak Chaturdashi or the first bath of Diwali was always mesmerizing for me. The excitement to dress up in new clothes, the thrill to burst all those crackers & the irresistible Faral(all the diwali delicacies), nothing can match it.
“Ohh there they are, ok lets do this fast” thought I. It used to take half an hour for me to bath that day….come on it was the day you have to take a “Royal Bath”. But no Utna(Special Diwali bathing powder) for me, so how was it a Royal Bath, well keep the soap for a longer time, effect is directly proportional to time! “Arrey jay lavkar baher ye na”(come out fast) screamed amruta. Once I came out amruta was ready to get in.
All dressed up I was ready to go,“Jay devala namaskar kelas ka?”(Did you pray before god?) said Aai in that tone which I am missing so much right now. “Haan haan karto”(Yes I’ll do it) and I would go in front of the Devhara mumble something I had learnt in school and then rocket out to make sure all the others were ready. Kuldeep, Amit, Chetan, Rohit were on my checklist. Once I made sure everyone was up its back to pavilion for some breakfast, rather Faral today. As I came just outside my house I saw Aai drawing her really, really awesome rangoli. She doesn’t need any colors, it’s the white rangoli & her hands that do all the magic.
Amruta was ready by the time I came home after the “Wake up round”. “Aye chal lavkar, zhali na tayyar?”(Come on, lets leave fast) I yelled at her. “Arrey thamb khaudey tila”(Wait let her eat) said Aai. And so we sat down for a plate full of options, Chakli, Shankarpali, Karanji, Chivda, Shev. “Evadha nakko, me thodach khanar”(I’ll won’t eat so much) said amruta. Ohh yes I was with amruta on this one. “Nantar alyavar khau”(We’ll eat after we come back). Stuffing one of each in our mouth & we vroomed out of the house. The crackers still bursting everywhere we were ready with all our ammunition. Distributed over all the days of Diwali I took out today’s arsenal.
Starting with the Lavangi the decibel level of crackers would go up but I never bought bombs, ‘atom bombs’ as they were called. Mainly because I was afraid of bombs! “Well let’s try something different today”, I thought, “no more bursting crackers in the open, lets cover it up with a box & invent a flying box”. Everyone laughed and gave a nod to do it. There were 4-5 boxes literally flying 6ft off the ground! “Aye don’t do that” yelled someone’s dad, “it’ll hurt somebody!” “Ok kaka” we replied in unison, as if we were the most obedient kids on earth. Waiting anxiously for kaka to go, one of us would give a signal to bring back the “Air Force”….. in air!
“What? Out of stock??”, I was searching for some single lavangis if at all there were some, but hard luck. And so was the case with everyone else. It was time to head to the temples now. Could there be any other way to flaunt our new clothes than to go to the mandirs! It was so awesome a brigade of around 10-15 kids going to 3 of the temples near us, Swami Mandir at Sena Bhavan, Sai Baba Mandir & Ganpati Mandir in Shivaji park. A visit to the Siddhivinayak Temple in Prabhadevi & Mahalakshmi Temple in Worli was on the cards in the evening, along with aai & baba! Although Baba is a ‘Nastik’(doesn't believe in god), he’s never reluctant to going to any temple, saying he loves the art & eats the Prasad as a sweet!

-->The Ganpati Mandir in shivaji park would be our last destination, because then we could walk around the park in that awesomely cool weather. If we could only go to Dadar Chowpatty, but then the clothes are destined to get dirty, so no way! On the way home we get to see so many familiar faces that we have to keep our hands up in the air the whole time, to wish each one of them, and of course people working at all the store’s in the area! Ahh yes this is one of those days when everyone has a smile on their face & is raring to greet you.
As amruta & I enter the house we see aai & baba calling up & greeting people over the phone. We chip in when it’s one of the mamas or aatya on the line. I still look back to that day in the Hindu calendar which brings everyone together to share their happiness and just hope that some day….. some day again I can relive my childhood diwali :’(

Thursday, October 23, 2008

When baba hits the right keys...

This is when I was in temporary accomodation at Teda, Rohit, Parashar & Vikas's House. Of course I was using their laptop for chatting & stuff. This conversation is when I was chatting with baba & then for a moment went to the bathroom. When I came back I saw Rohit, my senior on the laptop and he was talking to baba... as Jay!
"Let's have some fun" they said, "we'll get you a ticket back to India, now... lol". I knew baba, so I gave a 'go ahead' to Rohit.
Expecting some conservative answers to immature questions that he fired, Rohit tried to make baba on to find out more.

vishwanath takle: hey poraa.......
jay takle: hi
jay takle: how r u doing
jay takle: i am good
jay takle: i miss u all
vishwanath takle: so long, where were you?
jay takle: i was having a bath
jay takle: need to be clean
jay takle: these seniors are very picky about cleanliness
vishwanath takle: now there are very few days for you to go to your new accomodation
jay takle: yeah
jay takle: i am waiting for that anxiously
jay takle: these seniors are a pain
jay takle: they harass me
jay takle:
vishwanath takle: is it you or are your seniors chatting?
jay takle: na its me
jay takle: why whatz wrong ?
jay takle: is it english
jay takle: listen i am at rutgers now
jay takle: and my english needs to spick and span
jay takle: i am an anzreezi babu now
jay takle: understand my feelings
vishwanath takle: yes i know that you are trying to be angrejee
jay takle: thanks
jay takle: only expected from somebody like you
jay takle: so how r u doing ?
jay takle: kasa chalale aahe?
vishwanath takle: but there is a lot of difference between english people and americans
jay takle: aata tar tumhala khatri patdlieeee aslel ke meech jay? (At least now do you believe its me, jay?)
vishwanath takle:every thing is going ok.
vishwanath takle: ho ho.....  (yes, yes)
jay takle: aannkhin kay?  (what else?)
jay takle: kay chalu aahe sadhya? (what's going on these days?)
jay takle: aai kashi aahe? (How's mom?)
vishwanath takle: today I cleaned your wardrobe.
jay takle: and what did u find?
jay takle:
jay takle: dad thatz personal ...
jay takle:
vishwanath takle: aai is alright. She just came back from Pritesh dada's daughter's barasa.
vishwanath takle: I lined up your clothes
jay takle: aahhhh
jay takle: thanks dad u r the best
jay takle: i miss u baba
vishwanath takle: and I am planning to use some of them.
jay takle: not going to fit u
vishwanath takle: few I already tried.
jay takle: and are they still intact
jay takle: baba ek prashn veecharraycha hota? (Dad can I ask you a question)
vishwanath takle: so I am going to be very rich in clothes
jay takle: feerang soon chalel ka? (Will a feerang daughter-in-law do?)
vishwanath takle: yes you can ask anything. Do not be afraid, I was your friend before and now.
jay takle: veecharla na (I asked already)
jay takle: bagha tari (have a look)
jay takle: poonha veecharu ka? (shall I ask again?)
vishwanath takle: yes
jay takle: feerang soon chalel ka? (Will a feerang daughter-in-law do?)
vishwanath takle: a cha maila go on. (He excitedly told me to go on)
jay takle: ikadchya pori changlya aastat (The girls here are nice)
vishwanath takle: be bindhast. (No fear)
jay takle: photo patvoo ka? (should I send a photo?)
jay takle: ek changli pori disli aahe (I have seen a nice girl)
vishwanath takle: I know now that it is not jay, must be some senior.
jay takle: baba
jay takle: hey kay (what's this?)
jay takle: kay samjtata mala (what do you think of me)
jay takle: underestimate karu naka (don't underestimate me)
vishwanath takle: then give me key word what is my fathers name.
jay takle: harishchandra
jay takle: aankin kahi paheje (do you need anything else?)
jay takle: secret birth mark?
jay takle: aayechya babacha naav shantaraam (Mom's dad's name Shantaraam)
vishwanath takle: o.k I believe you. but remember that gory porgi baghun tichya mage gelas tar abhyasachi wat lagel. (but remember if you go after a girl because she's american you will screw up your studies)
jay takle: te thaaook aahe mala (I know that)
jay takle: me kadjee gheyen (I will take care)
jay takle: tashi hi aata aabhyasachi faarshi haus rahili nahi .. (anyways I am not really interested in studying anymore)
vishwanath takle: now I am confident that it's some one else.
jay takle: ask another question?
jay takle: veechara ki? (ask)
jay takle: aaj me mood madhe aahe (I am in mood today)
vishwanath takle: forget it ata mazi daru chi nasha utrel (forget it, this is just going to sober me up)
jay takle: ok ok
jay takle: back to jay mode
jay takle: it was lovely chatting with u uncle
jay takle: jay is safe sound and committed....
vishwanath takle: oho that's nice . I am happy that he is in good hands.

He really is Daddy Cool!